Stem Cells (La Jolla)


The Stem Cell Core (SCC) at Sanford-Burnham provides scientists within the community the opportunity to conduct their research devoted to human stem cells and that is conducive to collaborative partnerships. The SCC staff has extensive experience in maintenance, characterization, and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and the generation of non-integrated hiPSC from skin fibroblasts and lymphocytes using episomal, modified mRNA, or Sendai viral method. The SCC provides researchers with a source of various embryonic stem cell lines and carries a wide variety of validated stem cell reagents for hESC/hiPSC culture that are available for purchase. Hands-on and individual ad hoc training courses on hESC maintenance, characterization, and hiPSC generation are available for investigators and scientists. Extensive equipment for growth and characterization of stem cells is available for use in the core.
Tech-Shared Resources Four Tabs - Reagents


The Stem Cell Core is a resource for researchers at Sanford-Burnham and elsewhere who don't necessarily regard themselves as stem cell biologists but are increasingly turning to stem cell techniques to address questions in their own fields of study.

Core staff derive and characterize stem cells that model normal biology and disease states; derive induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from adult stem cells (typically fibroblasts, or skin cells); offer researchers instruction on techniques for developing iPSCs; act as consultants in designing and interpreting experiments; and develop sophisticated imaging technology, including automated 2D and 3D video time-lapse microscopy to image and track the migration, differentiation and cross-talk between human pluripotent cells and their progeny in culture.


The Stem Cell Core is organized into seven sub-cores that provide scientists at Sanford-Burnham and elsewhere with high-quality, economically priced cells, reagents, instruments, instruction, and training. These cores are:
  • Human Stem Cell Culture and Derivation
  • Human Stem Cell Characterization
  • High-Throughput Analysis and New Technology Development
  • Human Stem Cell Data Sharing and Training
  • Advanced and Automated Imaging Analysis
  • Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • MicroRNA Screening and Analysis


  • Episomal Reprogramming: 6 clones with minimal 3 cryo stock vials of P2-P5 for each clone
  • mRNA Reprogramming: 6 clones with minimal 3 cryo stock vials of P2-P5 for each clone
  • hiPSC characterization package: 14 marker (Oct4, Nanog, SSEA4, Tra-1-60)-antibody staining per clone
  • hiPSC characterization package 2: 6 marker (Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, SSEA4, Tra-1-60, Tra-1-81)-antibody staining per clone
  • hiPSC characterization package 3
    • EB formation
    • 2 lineage specific gene expression for each germ layers via RT-qPCR for per clone
  • hiPSC characterization package 4
    • In vitro 3 germ-layer direct differentiation
    • 2 lineage specific marker antibody staining for each germ layers per clone
  • hiPSC characterization package 5: Teratoma formation and histological analysis per clone
  • hESC/hiPSC expansion
  • Mycoplasma Test

Training Courses
  • Stem Cell Basic Training
  • Stem Cell Colony Picking & Passaging Training
  • Episomal hiPSC Reprogramming Training
  • Training for hiPSC generation and ES cell culture
  • Training for hESC/hiPSC differentiation to Ectoderm
  • Training for hESC/hiPSC differentiation to Mesoderm
  • Training for hESC/hiPSC differentiation to Endoderm

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We provide the reagents for stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Following is the list of common reagents that can be ordered at any time. All products were validated on the human ESC/iPSC before they were put on the shelf. For the detailed validation parameters for any specific reagents, please contact us.

  • DMEM (500 ml)
  • DMEM-F12 + Glutamax (500 ml)
  • KOSR (50 ml)
  • DPBS (500 ml)
  • bFGF (100ng/ul)
  • mLIF (10^6 Units)
  • GFR Matrigel
  • FBS (50 ml)
  • NEAA 100x (100 ml)
  • beta-mercaptoethanol (5 ml)
  • Glutamax 100x (100 ml)
  • Trypsin 0.05%/EDTA (100 ml)
  • Pen/Strep (100x) (100 ml)
  • Antibi/Antimy (100x) (5 ml)
  • Gelatin 0.1% (6 ml)
  • DMSO-Cell Culture Grade (3 ml)
  • Dispase (1mg/ml) (5 ml)
  • Y27632 (100 ul)
  • Accutase (5 ml)
  • 24 well low attachment (each)
  • 6 well low attachment (each)
  • Roche 96 Well Plate (each)
  • Roche 384 Well plate (each)
  • Sybr Green Master Mix
  • Hs27 1.5x10^6 irradiated
  • CF-1 MEF 3x10^6 irradiated
  • CF-1 MEF 1.5x10^6 irradiated
  • MEF Condition Media (45 ml)
  • MEF Condition Media (500ml)
  • Neuronal Induction Medium (100ml)
  • hESC H9 (1 vial)
  • hESC H9 (per passage in a 6-well plate)
  • Countess Slide
  • Neon Electroporation Tip
  • Neon Electroporation Tube
  • iPSC reprogramming Episomal vector cocktail

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  • Six - and 4 - foot tissue culture hoods: general maintenance and manipulation of cultures.
  • Sanyo CO2 tissue culture incubators: advanced incubator with UV decontamination system.
  • Four-foot Envirco Flow Lamina hoods: for manual manipulation of cultures.
  • Olympus CKX-41 Tissue Culture Scope: for general visualizations and basic image acquisition of cultures.
  • XVivo Hypoxia culturing system: self-contained incubation system that allows culture, manipulate and visualize cells under user-specified hypoxic or normoxic conditions.
  • MVE 1830 Eterne cryostorage system: 190 degree-vapor phase cell storage system for up to ~80,000 2 ml vials. This unit will have a back-up N2 source in addition to a 24-hour remote alarm.
  • Biogenic Solutions 2100 Controlled Rate Freezing System: advanced computer-controlled cell freezing instrument for optimal freezing rate.
  • Leica DMI 4000B Inverted Fluorescent Microscope & Camera System: this microscope will be mainly available for image acquisition and will have available both the Metavue and the standard Leica image acquisition software.
  • Olympus IX71 Inverted Fluorescent Microscope: mainly available for image acquisition and will have available both the Metavue and the standard Olympus image acquisition software.
  • Leica M165 FC fluorescent dissecting microscopes: for routine maintenance of stem cell lines that contain fluorescent reporters. One will be housed in a 4 foot EnviroCo laminar flow hood and one will be housed in the XVivo Hypoxia System.
  • Leica MZ6 Dissecting Stereomicroscopes: housed in separate EnviroCo laminar flow hoods for the routine manipulation of stem cell cultures.
  • Backman Coulter Cell Lab Quanta SC: an advanced flow cytometry with 3-color, coulter volume and side scatter analysis.
  • Beckman Coulter Spectrophotometer
  • Eppendorf Mastercycler EP Gradient PCR instrument
  • 384-well Roche Lightcycler 480 real-time PCR instrument: a newly released Lightcycler from Roche that allows one to perform reactions in either a 96- or 384- well format. The main feature, in addition to the high quality nature of Roche products, is the ease to switch from the 96- to 384- well format without having to recalibrate the instrument.
  • A computer-controlled precise laser system (LEAP): for hESC/hiPSC clone isolation, passaging, & amplification, which enables the high-volume handling of stem cell culture and hiPSC generation.

Please contact Dr. Yang Liu for questions or requests on services, products, equipment, and
training courses.

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Yang Liu, Ph.D.

Email Yang Liu

Yang Liu received his Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. After his postdoctoral training at UCSD, he led a group in research and diagnostic product development as well as the new technology evaluation, validation, and development at Chemicon, now EMD/Millipore, for 5 years. He was then recruited as the R&D Director at Stemgent, a company specialized in the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) related research reagents and services. He joined Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute as the Stem Cell Core Director in 2011 to develop the more advanced, high volume and low cost hiPSC generation technologies using the cells from various tissue sources.


Dongmei Wu, MD. Ph.D.

Email Dongmei Wu

Dongmei Wu received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Kobe University School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan. After her postdoctoral training at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute from 2004-2008, she was recruited as a senior scientist in the R&D team at Stemgent and responsible for the hES/hiPSC related reagents and services from 2008-2012. She joined the Stem Cell Core as research specialist and assistant manager in 2012, developing large-scale hiPSC generation technologies and managing the lab activities.


Evan Y. Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P.

Professor and Program Director, Stem Cells and Regeneration Program
Email Evan Snyder

Dr. Snyder earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. He completed residencies in pediatrics and neurology at Children's Hospital-Boston, Harvard Medical School and postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School. In 1992, Dr. Snyder was appointed an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and was promoted to assistant professor in 1996. He is regarded as one of the fathers of the stem cell field, having identified over 2 decades ago that cells that came to be called stem cells were a source of neural plasticity. He was the first to demonstrate that non-hematopoietic stem cells could mediate cell and gene replacement, home to injury, and perform protective, trophic, pro-regenerative, and anti-inflammatory actions. He was the first to isolate human neural stem cells. In 2003, after 23 years at Harvard, Dr. Snyder was recruited to Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute as professor and director of the Stem Cells and Regeneration program.

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